Cataract prevention and reversal

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(NaturalHealth365) Vision is tied to general health, and health is tied to lifestyle. Cataracts are of all the vision problems the most likely related to lifestyle.

A cataract is a clouding up of the eye lens. Vision is not as clear, there is a frosty or fogged up appearance to the objects in view. The clouded vision caused by cataracts makes everyday tasks more difficult. This would be especially true in the evening when there isn’t enough light out. Most cataracts develop over a period of time. In fact in the early stages it doesn’t interfere with vision.

The very first clues are the need for stronger lighting and eyeglasses. As the cataracts progress these remedies aren’t enough. The most common symptoms are blurry vision, faded or yellowed colors, glare, compromised night vision, double vision, halos around lights and frequent prescription changes.

Types of Cataracts

Nuclear Cataracts

Cataracts that affect the center of the lens are called nuclear cataracts, a nuclear cataract may cause you to become more nearsighted or perhaps experience short term improvement in your reading vision. In time the lens turns yellow and clouds visions. Some of the symptoms: seeing double or multiple images and difficulty distinguishing between shades of a color.

Cortical Cataracts

A cortical cataract begins as a whitish, wedge-shaped opacities or streaks on the outer edge of the cortex. As it progresses, the streaks reach the center and interfere with light going through the center of the lens. Symptom: problems with glare.

Subcapsular cataracts

A posterior subcapsular cataract starts as a small opaque area, which usually forms behind the lens, in the path of light going into the retinal. Symptoms: interferes with reading, reduces vision in bright lights, and causes either glare or halos around lights at night.

Causes

Cataracts develop for a variety of reasons. It can develop in one or both eyes. As you age the lenses in your eyes become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Age-related changes cause tissues to break down and clump together clouding areas of the eye.

Other causes diabetes, alcohol consumption, excessive exposure to sunlight, exposure to ionizing radiation the type used in x-rays and cancer radiation therapy, a family history of cataracts, high blood pressure, obesity, eye injury or inflammation, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, and smoking.

Prevention

Probably the biggest cause is lifestyle. A University of Wisconsin-Madison survey of more than 18,000 women found those with the lowest consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains had the highest risk of developing cataracts.

Antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables such as A, C, and E, lutein, and zeaxanhin can reduce the incident of cataracts. The consumption of fish a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids also has been associated with a reduced risk of cataracts.

In a study published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in June 2010, researchers in Australia found that a diet high in carbohydrates may increase cataract risk. Looking at the eating habits of more than 1,600 adults revealed that individuals who were in the top 25 percent for total carbohydrate intake had more than three times the risk to develop cataracts than those in the lowest 25 percent for carbohydrate intake.

Reversal

Besides slowing down the progression of cataracts a diet high in antioxidants can reverse the process. The largest part of the standard American diet is processed foods. This means simple carbs and lots of sugar make up the largest portion of the diet. Both of these rob the body of vitamins and minerals. Eyes depend on nutrients just like every other system.

In another study of 2,400 plus older adults in Australia published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2008 found that high intakes of antioxidants reduced the incident of cataracts. To prevent and reverse cataracts, you need to increase alkalinity. A cataract can dissolve on its own. Women who had a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in yellow or dark leafy vegetables had a lower risk for forming cataracts. This is reported in one of Jama/Archive journals.

Based on the idea that cataract formation happens because reactive oxygen is capable of damaging the lens proteins and antioxidants can protect against this process, it would seem that cataracts are in a large part lifestyle dependent.

So, if you can see your way to add plenty of produce to your diet you will insure that you will see clearly for years to come.

Abouit the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy

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  • Linda

    I know this to be true, in general for eye sight. I use to wear glasses years ago & after I changed my diet & added a few vitamins I was able to throw the glasses away! I am over 50 and have better vision than most of the younger generation. As a matter of fact, 5 of my 6 children wear glasses. They do NOT eat healthy. Need I say more? I Praise God for His Blessings on me !

  • Jim

    Also good to eat a plant based diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables to avoid age related macular degeneration.

  • Rajeanne

    Every morning I take one Astaxanthin 12 mg. from Hawaii…and I don’t even need glasses to read anymore!!! What a blessings this is for me, and for the friends who also have been taking this too!!! Thanks

  • John Carter

    Not that I disagree with you but my father at 91 is now suffering from age related macular degeneration.
    For ALL OF HIS LIFE he has been a health fanatic. He juices *everyday*
    He does not eat junk food except on special occasion, Xmas etc
    I accept that he has had good eyesight until about 10 years when he started needing glasses for reading (sometime).
    So I am sure his health has delayed this onset…
    However, this article s titles how to prevent and REVERSE but I see little on reversing in this article.
    There are however herbal eyewashes that stimulate circulation to the eye and promote healing. They have herbs such as Cayenne and Eyebright.
    Generally a good article on prevention but even on prevention, we must consider the cardiovascular system because if this is clogged up with cholesterol then we can expect it will be difficult to get oxygen and nutrients into microscopic capillary networks that support the eyes.
    Good health to all.
    Jc

  • Lee

    Also important is the role of the liver (including liver flushes, which I’ve researched on my own,via Andreas Moritz’ book). This Natural Health site features this article on the role of the liver for eye rejuventation: http://www.naturalnews.com033095_eye_rejuvenation_Oriental_Medicine.html#ixzz1TFdvvM8M

    Rajeanne, I also take 12mg astaxanthin daily from Hawaii. Dr. Mercola did a fantastic video interview with one of the largest astaxanthin growers in the world, and that’s how I learned about this truly super anti-oxident. The Mercola site also has several articles on the role of astaxanthin in protecting eye health.